For such a young actor, Coronation Street star Jude Riordan has already made an indelible mark on the cobbles since making his Corrie debut back in 2020.
He’s best known for playing Sam Blakeman, the long-lost son of Nick Tilsley, who tragically lost his mother last week after she was fatally shot by drug lord Harvey Gaskell.
Jude’s portrayal of the youngster’s grief had Corrie fans the nation over in floods of tears as he bade an emotional goodbye to Natasha at the funeral parlour.
But what about his life away from the cobbles? To mark his impressive performance on the ITV soap, Daily Star takes a look at what Jude’s life is like when the cameras are off.
Real age and Merseyside link
Jude originally hails from St Helens in Merseyside, attending St John Vianney school where he first discovered his love of acting.
Now aged just 13, Jude’s mum Kellie explained to St Helens Star last year that he was invited to attend a casting in February 2020, before heading for a screen test with Nick actor Ben Price.
She explained to the publication: "Jude was over the moon. He loves to act and feels very comfortable on set and in that environment.
"Sam loves all things space so Jude is loving learning about the Nebula Cluster."
And fans who are used to seeing Jude’s character Sam in his trademark glasses might be surprised to learn he doesn’t wear them in real life.
Michelle Keegan connection
Coronation Street wasn’t Jude’s first TV project – and he has even acted alongside a Corrie stalwart in his impressive career.
Michelle Keegan, who played Tina McIntyre on the cobbles from 2008 until 2014, is also known for playing Jude’s on-screen mum Erin in Sky One comedy drama Brassic.
Jude currently plays Tyler in the show, and paid a sweet tribute to Michelle on Instagram to celebrate Mother’s day.
He posted three snaps – one of him with his real mum Kellie, another with Natasha actress Rachel Leskovac and a third with Michelle, adding the caption: "Happy Mother’s Day to all. Especially my mum, my Corrie mum, and my Brassic mum!"
Jude actually made his television debut in 2017 when he was just five years old, appearing in documentary The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 Year Olds with other kids his age.
He went on to scoop credits in classic kids’ show Blue Peter, as well as TV miniseries Katy, based on Jacqueline Wilson’s hit book.
He’s also starred in several adverts.
Jude’s impressive acting skills have even impressed Corrie regulars, including Jane Danson who plays Leanne Battersby on the soap.
She tweeted: "I work with @JudeRiordan most days and I know how wonderful he is. He has a maturity beyond his years and that scene with ‘My Nick ‘ was absolutely stunning.
"The two of them have just made me cry @itvcorrie."
In fact, Jude’s performances have been so incredible he even scooped the National Telelvision Award for Best Newcomer at this year’s star-studded ceremony.
Some fans might not have made the link, but Jude’s dad is also a prolific soap star and has made his own name in Soapland – and has even been Jude’s co-star for four episodes of Coronation Street.
Paul Riordan first made a name for himself as the director of Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, which he had a hand in directing from 2008 until 2020.
He went on to direct episodes of Casualty, Emmerdale and Coronation Street, the latter in 2021 when Jude was starring.
Paul was there to congratulate his son on his NTA win, taking to Twitter to say: "Well this is pretty special… Proudest dad in the universe!"
He followed up: "Still processing what just happened! Our boy up there following in the footsteps of the greatest in telly. Enjoy it all @JudeRiordan you deserve everything!"
Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV from 7:30pm.
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